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Pimp your static home (on a budget)

The days are already beginning to shorten as another summer draws to a close. So, your thoughts might be turning to ways of occupying some of those autumn evenings by sprucing up your static home.

Of course, one person’s budget might be another person’s fortune, but here are a few tips and suggestions for pimping your static caravan without spending an arm and a leg on the materials – just bear in mind that any increase in the value of the holiday home you create as a result, is properly reflected in your static caravan insurance:

First steps

  • as a first step, make sure to thoroughly clean and repair the interior of your caravan to sort out just what needs replacing, what can be kept and what can be spruced up, suggests the website Preloved;
  • this provides your starting point and the likely budget you need to make the changes you want to achieve;

Furnishings

  • soft furnishings in a static caravan make all the difference;
  • a contributor to a discussion on the Money Saving Expert’s website suggests making your own by buying inexpensive foam and fillings from your local trader and sew together fabric remnants and material to make the coverings;
  • a fresh, new look may be created by making your own curtains, too, and scattering around a few handmade cushions to give the interior more comfort and interest;

Floors

  • whatever the layout of the interior of your static caravan, one of the first impressions is likely to be given by the state of the floor;
  • where areas have become scuffed or worn, an inexpensive way of sprucing them up is to lay second-hand carpet tiles in the living areas or self-adhesive vinyl tiles in the kitchen and bathroom;
  • a static caravan is likely to have far less floor area than your own home, so the area that needs to be covered is unlikely to be huge, so your budget might even extend to completely renewing your floor coverings;

Walls

  • check for evidence of damp and mould and make sure to tackle that before tackling anything else;
  • when you are satisfied they are clear, a lick of paint in fresh new colours might transform the appearance, whilst a wallpaper border may help to add an element of interest;

Fashions

  • if you are interested in producing a look that reflects current trends, some online research is likely to pay dividends – so look through the caravan club websites, Pinterest and Instagram for some illustrated ideas;
  • careful research is also likely to pay off if you want to retrofit your static caravan to achieve a more classic look;
  • charity shops and car boot sales offer ideal place to rummage in search of old pictures, their frames and classic, retro fabrics;

Exteriors

  • tackling the exterior may prove more difficult and needs to be handled with particular care, given the nature of a static caravan and its need to remain completely weather-proofed;
  • whilst there are special paints that might be used to brighten and clean the external appearance, Vale Holiday Parks suggests the novel idea of covering the exterior with a vinyl coating as an alternative to the conventional aluminium.

Small touches go a long way – and it is possible to transform the appearance of your static caravan both inside and out on a fairly modest budget.

Which caravan insurance?

If you are thinking of buying your first caravan you want to know your options for protecting that investment with suitable caravan insurance. If you already own one, you want to be certain that when the renewal date comes around, the caravan insurance you have continues to deliver the cover you need and still represents good value for money.

Either way, that leaves you with the knotty problem of which caravan insurance to choose – there are certainly many possibilities to choose from:

Ask a broker

  • because the choice is so overwhelming and because it is important to get it right, you might want to consult an established and experienced broker in this sector of the insurance market such as ourselves here at Cover4Caravans;
  • as the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) advises, a broker is there to act entirely in your interests, giving advice and guidance on the caravan insurance likely to be suitable for your particular, individual needs and requirements, and to find that cover at a competitive price;
  • use our online service or simply pick up the phone to give us a call and we are able to give you a quote, carefully match your needs to a wide variety of insurers and answer any queries or concerns you may have about suitable caravan insurance;
  • if you ever need to make a claim, then we are here to help you fill in the forms and do whatever it takes to secure a fair settlement of that claim;

Insurance needs

  • even if you have been a caravan owner for a good number of years, it might still be difficult to be sure you have the most suitable insurance for the make and model you currently own, its value, its age and its condition;
  • that’s why it is always worth reviewing any caravan insurance you have in advance of its renewal date – not only might your own needs and requirements have changed, but new insurance products are coming onto the market all of the time and there are new ones you might want to consider;

Valuations

  • the valuation of your caravan is one of the most critical steps involved in choosing the appropriate insurance;
  • it is by no means always such a straight forward process and you might want to draw on our own many years’ of expertise and experience in arriving at accurate and realistic evaluations for insurance purposes – to ensure that you are neither over- nor underinsured;

Value for money

  • getting value for money on your caravan insurance is not a simple question of the cheapest price – it all depends on the cover offered, what you need and the competitiveness of the premiums;
  • do you need fully comprehensive cover, for example, or something rather more basic, are you prepared to take on a greater proportion of the risk – and lower premiums in return – by accepting a higher excess, and are you hoping to use your caravan for holidays abroad from time to time;
  • these are all questions which may need to be taken into account when choosing which caravan insurance to buy.

Contact us here at Cover4Caravans and we may be able to help you make that choice.

 

The great British staycation

All the evidence seems to suggest that 2017 is going to be the year of the “staycation” for many British families and celebs.

This term has been picked up from the American “vacation” and it describes the move by many British holidaymakers, away from the automatic assumption that holiday means overseas.

What’s driving this?

Value for money

There’s little doubt that the decline in value of Sterling against the Euro and dollar since 2016 has been a major factor.

That’s largely attributable to uncertainty over the outcome of the Brexit process but the result is that the pound today is buying a lot less abroad than it was earlier in 2016 and before. Suddenly Europe doesn’t look quite so attractive anymore in terms of a low-cost holiday.

By contrast, that drive up the motorway to Scotland or across to Cornwall, is looking much more financially attractive.

British resorts / sites have learned lessons

Going way back to the 1970s, one reason increasing numbers of British holidaymakers fled overseas each year for their break was the rather indifferent state of many British resorts. Some, including some caravan sites, hadn’t really done much to improve their facilities since the 1950s – and that carried on even into the 80s and 90s.

All that now has changed though. Huge sums have been spent in the past 20 years in order to bring the sites and resorts up to 21st century standards. Now the facilities are often excellent and designed with the caravan communities needs in mind rather than just expediency.

A re-discovery of the UK

The UK has scenery and natural beauty that compares very favourably with any major holiday destination in the world.

In past decades, going abroad for a holiday was trendy and fashionable. Today, that’s less so and people are re-discovering the beauty and grandeur of their own country. It has been said that some British holidaymakers were more familiar with the geography of Spain or France than they were that of the UK.

That looks to be changing.

The weather

This is, of course, an old chestnut and one that can’t be ignored.

Nobody is ever going to pretend that the UK is likely to have a reliable Mediterranean summer. What might be called “iffy” weather is always a possibility.

However, two factors in recent years are reducing these concerns:

  • climate change is leading to typically warmer summers;
  • UK resorts and caravan sites are simply much better prepared to offer poor weather entertainment than they were say a decade or more ago.

So, if you get the odd rainy day, it’s not a disaster.

Caravans have hugely improved

At Cover4Caravans, we’ve frequently spoken to people who remember caravan holidays (static or touring) in the 1950s and 1960s and what you hear is fond nostalgia but also stories that are closer to endurance epics than holiday fun.

Today’s technology and caravan design coupled with the new site facilities have simply changed all that. Many caravans today offer exceptionally luxurious and comfortable surroundings (which is one reason why it’s important to make sure you have appropriate touring or static caravan insurance).

Summary

For all these reasons, 2017 looks like being another bumper year for staycations.

We think that’s something to be welcomed given the contribution that will make to the overall UK economy.